EyeWire FAQ For the Newest Players

There is already a great FAQ on these forums (found here: http://forum.eyewire.org/discussion/62/faq/p1), all about the game, the project, and aspects of playing. However, there tends to be a lot of questions asked by newer players who haven’t made their way to the forums yet. I wanted to post this abridged, player-made FAQ to address those questions in the form of a quick and easy link to post in chat. There are several players who play quite a lot who tend to be online when there is an influx of new folks, and while most of us don’t mind answering questions or otherwise helping where we can, it does get tedious after a while…and a link like this would be very helpful.

So, the following is a series of frequently asked questions by new players who are trying to get a good start in the game. If anyone has any additions, corrections, or suggestions, feel free to post a reply or get my attention in game chat (Ketta).

Hey…why am I not getting any points?!

If you’re not getting points, it’s probably because you’re in the tutorial. Once you’re finished with the tutorial, you’ll start to earn points (during the last 3 cubes of the tutorial, you’ll earn some points too).

Why isn’t the game telling me what percent I got right anymore?

Once you’re out of the tutorial, you’re working on cubes that are ‘unknown’. You are now tracing for real and helping Eyewire discover and finish different neurons. Thus, the game can’t tell you what you’ve done right or wrong directly, because even it doesn’t know for sure.

If the game can’t tell me what I did right or wrong, how does it know how to score my work?

Your work is checked against work done by others who have traced the same cube. Your score is based on how well it matches up, on how much volume you filled in, and a little bit on how much time you spent on the cube. The maximum you can get for time spent on a cube is 20 points, so the most important aspects are what tracing work you did and on volume.

Trailblazing? What the heck is THAT?

When you trailblaze a cube, that means you were the first to work on a cube and submit it. What’s really cool about trailblazing is that no matter how much work you did, you get 50 points. Plus, after other players have traced the same cube, you get the points you would have gotten for working on the cube normally.

WHOA!! I got a cube with a giant blob in it! But it’s taking forever to fill in…

Those are usually what the project team calls ‘cell bodies’. They’re big, round monstrosities that have a LOT of small bits to fill in but take a long time to complete. The general consensus from the team is to fill in just the outside edges (not the middle parts or anything that butts up against the sides of a cube), and submit that work. The team says that they’re working on teaching the AI to fill in the middle, and unless you REALLY want the points (which take a very long time), to not bother with the middle parts at all. If you’re worried about your accuracy, they’ve also said they’re making sure that submitting unfinished cell body cubes won’t hurt your accuracy.

Am I REALLY tracing neurons in a human brain?

Actually, no. You’re tracing neurons in the retina of a mouse. A mouse’s retina is very similar to a human retina in many ways.

Am I REALLY helping science while playing this game?

YES! In fact, the work the project team and the players have done in just the last few months has contributed greatly. If you want to know more, please check out the blog and the wiki, and there is also a more in-depth FAQ on this forum.

I don’t seem to be doing too well…if I screw up, am I hurting anything?

Don’t worry! With practice, you will get better. There are some videos posted on the blog (found here: http://blog.eyewire.org/a-walk-through-the-eyewire-tutorials-1-of-3/) that are excellent walk-throughs for after you’ve completed the tutorial but still aren’t sure about tracing. And no, you’re not really hurting anything if you don’t do well, because your work is checked against tracing done by other players. Plus, just in case something DOES go wrong due to player error, the project team has members that look very closely at player work to spot errors.

Ugh! My cubes are loading so slowly! What’s the deal?

Sometimes when a lot of new players discover the game, particularly after an announcement or feature on a website, radio, or television, the game gets overloaded. The project team is always working on improving this (and it’s getting better!), but slow loads still happen. The best thing to do is simply to have patience—it always improves with time. Refreshing sometimes helps, and it’s always OK to ask in chat for any suggestions on improving load times.

What are the chat commands?

The most important is /help, as it lists the current commands available to players. Common commands are /silent, which shuts off or turns on chat and /me for emoting (for example, if I wanted to smile, I’d type /me smiles). There is also a /debug command, which identifies the cube and cell you're working on. Sometimes cubes have problems (like not loading fully or having multiple colors) and it helps the developers identify and fix bugs.

How do I shut off the game sounds?

Click on the speaker symbol on the lower right corner of your screen.

How do I change the colors of what I’m tracing?

Click on the tool wheel at the bottom right of your screen for color changes and other tools built into the game.

How can I learn more about the game?

At the top of the game screen, you’ll see links to the blog and the wiki, as well as the forums. All three places are great ways for learning more and keeping up with Eyewire.

Blog: http://blog.eyewire.org/

Wiki: http://wiki.eyewire.org/en/Main_Page
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What do the different name colors mean in chat?

Right now, green is for players, purple is for moderators, and yellow is for administrators. There is also a special color for those who were the high scorer of the day before (light blue), which changes to a darker blue to show they’ve been a high scorer.

The branch I’m tracing has a hole in it…is that OK?

Yes…in fact those ‘holes’ are somewhat common. These ‘holes’ aren’t perfectly closed, and sort of resemble the ‘OK’ sign you make with your finger and thumb; parts of the branch form each side of the hole, and while the parts may touch, they don’t fuse. Another branch/dendrite from the cell (or from a different cell) passes through the hole. Here’s a link to what a hole might look like: http://wiki.eyewire.org/en/Autapse

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This faq was useful to me, being an old player.
/help should include /silence /debug and /me in the chat.

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Thanks retepaskab! I’ll add /debug right now…

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I did 3 cubes and I always get 20 points (despite I reached quite good punctuation in the practise). Am I doing something wrong or do I need to improve a lot my skills? (and why always 20?)

Thanks everyone. I’m loving this!!
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Hi achutegui :slight_smile: What’s likely happening is that your work on those cubes simply didn’t compare well to what others did in the same cube. Don’t worry though, because with practice you’ll get better at seeing what needs to be added and what doesn’t. Your score mostly consists of how you compare to what other players have done and how much volume you fill in. There are videos done by the Eyewire team (link posted above) and you’re more than welcome to ask for advice in chat from fellow players.

I’m glad you’re enjoying the game! Don’t get discouraged at first by low scores though…we’ve all been there. :slight_smile:
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And in case of doubt it surely was the majority of other players which accidently missed a branch you colored correctly. That’s what I keep telling to myself in such moments… :stuck_out_tongue:

(Joke aside: that really happens from time to time)
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what is the starburst challange?

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Per your suggestion, Ketta, I’m posting about my deficiency in—or perceived deficiency—in trailblazing. I’ve never seen in the chat that “dfawcett64 has trailblazed” or that I’ve received points for having done so. Uncharted cubes are apparently randomly assigned, and I do understand randomness. But I’ve generated quite a few points and usually play for long periods of time. (I will note that there was a time when I first started before I realized that the only way to ensure that my chat loads correctly is to log on, then go to the forums, then return to play.) On the other hand, it does seem that I see others trailblazing with some consistency. I can’t help thinking that they have knowledge of where new cubes are generating, while also feeling (even less rationally) that I am indeed extremely unlucky. After all, I did not win the lottery last week, either.

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Does typing  /debug to get the Cube ID # send the info or does that Cube ID # need to be sent to someone by another method.  The problem I am running into is small pieces at the edge of the cube that don’t seem to have any thing to add. Or to report any other odd stuff in the cube like mergers.

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You have to manually report the cube ID to us, you can either email support@eyewire.org or report it in chat if an admin is online (we’re usually yellow).  You don’t need to report the small pieces at the edge of the cube with nothing to add.  Reporting mergers however is very useful.

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Newbies of which I still feel I belong if you worked really hard on a cube and only got 20 or 30 points it may show up in your score the next day. I have had a 1000 or more points added when I log in the next day.  You may be doing a much better job then the score on the cube suggested. Keep up the good work.

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Reset Tutorial Added

Hey guys, we’ve just added the option to redo the tutorial on Eyewire!  This is great if you’re a first time player and accidentally skipped through some important stuff your first time around, or if you just need a refresher.

To get to the tutorial, go to your profile page (click on your name in the upper right corner of the screen), and go to settings.  Click “reset tutorial” and you’re ready to begin again!

WARNING clicking “reset tutorial” erases all your tutorial progress.  If you want to redo the tutorial you MUST complete the entire tutorial before you are allowed to play on regular cubes again.  (Don’t worry, it only erases progress on the tutorial, your points, badges, and status in regular play will remain unchanged).

So if you’re in need of an Eyewire crash course, reset tutorial will be there ready to help you out!
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Why can’t I hear the sounds??

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You may have silenced EyeWire.  Try clicking on the little speaker icon in the lower right.

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not so much a newbie as a wannabenewbie… no disrespect intended but I wonder if this is how Helen Keller felt… back manyana I hope

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Trying to help, learning process for sure

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I’m not a scientist or much of a computer user but I’ve thought though that neurons have something to do with cancer cells becoming cancer cells so anything I can do to help, being as I’m retired and too old to be a scientist at this late stage…haha I’ll try to do my best.

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Hey mstanley,

That is an interesting topic, are you talking about neurons and brain tumors? I have read a bit about how neurons, when reverted back to a stem cell state, can lead to brain tumors that were previously believed to arise from different cells. I don’t know too much about it but if you are interested I can find some articles for you.

As far as helping keep playing eyewire! The more cells we trace the more research can be done :slight_smile:


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